Ephesians 3:17–19 says, “that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” What do we comprehend? The Love of Christ!
Through the power of the Spirit, and because of the indwelling of Christ, we are to become established in love and being established in love, we have power to comprehend the love of Christ. But how do you describe such a love?
Paul says, “comprehend what is the breadth, and length and height and depth.”
But he purposefully left off what it is that he was describing. So what does he mean?
It takes in the eternity of God. God is Love; and in that, an infinity of breadth, length, depth, and height, is included; or rather all breadth, length, depth, and height, are lost in this vastness. It comprehends all that is above, all that is below, all that is past, and all that is to come. All of this is said in reference to us, His creation! The love of God, in its breadth, is a net that encompasses the globe; its length reaches from the eternal purpose of the mission of Christ, to the eternity which is to be spent in his presence. It’s depth reaches to the lowest sinner, and to the very center of the heart; and its height to the eternal glory of the throne of Christ.
How do you describe the love of Christ? We can’t. No one has ever shown this amount of love for this many sinful people.
And yet we still act like we have power, like we are above God. Man on his own has no power.
But God, God has given us the opportunity to have the power to comprehend His Son’s love.
Comprehension is “to process information, understand, grasp.” A kid growing up hears from their parents that they love him. He hears it every day, but he never fully comprehends that love until he has kids of his own. A person will go through something traumatic, and the first couple of hours they are in shock. They know what happened, but they haven’t comprehended it yet. Sadly, we can hear about the love of Christ, we can hear God’s Word. But this isn’t the same as comprehension.
Growing up I hated literature. I can remember reading the Iliad, eyes glazed over, and just seeing words on a page. I couldn’t tell you a thing about what I was reading. I wasn’t comprehending. Ephesians 3:19 puts “and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” And to GNOSKO the love of Christ. A working knowledge as opposed to book knowledge. This is comprehension, a useful knowledge of Christ’s love.
As a faithful Christian, you can comprehend the love of Christ. And knowing his love is power. There’s a devotional song we sing that says, “amazing love! How can it be? That you, my God would die for me.” To be powerful is to comprehend the love of Christ. And in comprehending we live out His love. That is our purpose as Christians.